During the negotiations for your new car, your dealer may offer you additional products or services, which you're not required to purchase or finance as part of the sale. While we can't tell you if these products are right for you, we can help you understand what to consider before purchasing or financing these products.
What you need to know
- Be informed: You're not required to purchase any of these products when you buy or finance a vehicle.
- Get the facts: Be sure the dealer provides all the details, terms and conditions related to any aftermarket products you may be interested in.
- Understand the details: Don't purchase any product you don't fully understand, or don't think you can afford. With this information, you can better determine if the product is valuable for you based on your situation. It's also important to be aware of any product cancellation provisions. While some products can be canceled, others may not. If the product can be canceled, you may seek a refund of any eligible unused portion if you sell or trade your vehicle prior to the product's maturity.
- Know who offers the product: Generally, these products are offered by the dealer or a third party provider. If there are problems or questions related to your purchase, you will need to work directly with the other company since your creditor may not know the product terms and conditions. Please refer to your product agreement for complete details.
MOST COMMON PRODUCTS
Vehicle Service Contract or Agreements
A Vehicle Service Contract pays for specified mechanical repairs or services. These plans generally provide coverage after the manufacturer's warranty expires. Prices vary a great deal based on your vehicle, length of coverage and miles driven, and usually require a deductible.
An Extended Warranty differs from a Service Contract in that it can only be offered by the manufacturer. Extended Warranties are common on Certified-Pre Owned vehicles, where the manufacturer extends the factory warranty on late model low mileage pre-owned vehicles that undergo a detailed, multi-point inspection and reconditioning process.
The Federal Trade Commission provides more details on the difference between Service Contracts and Extended Warranties
Gap Insurance or Waiver
Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance and GAP waiver generally provide coverage when your car is stolen and not recovered or damaged beyond repair and declared a total loss. If you finance a significant portion of your auto purchase, then you may owe more than the value of your car. In this case, the difference is called the “gap”. Auto insurance companies typically pay the value of your car rather than the amount remaining on your loan. These products may help reduce the amount you owe or even take care of your remaining loan balance when the proceeds from your insurance company are not enough to pay off your loan.
- GAP insurance can be purchased after you buy your car from your auto insurer or other auto insurers. This product is in addition to your comprehensive insurance and agrees to pay the bank some or all of the remaining balance owed.
- GAP waivers tend to be more commonly sold by auto dealers and can only be purchased at the time you buy your car. This product may cancel or “waive” some or all of the remaining balance owed.
No matter which GAP product you pick it's important to remain current on your auto loan to get the full benefits. Coverage varies by product and you may remain responsible for certain amounts.
These plans cover maintenance for a specified period of time and miles. They usually cover oil changes, tire rotations, and basic maintenance like fluid level checks and visual inspection of belts, hoses, and wiper blades. They may also be called Maintenance Care or a Scheduled Maintenance Agreement.
Paint and Fabric Protection
This product is a chemical sealant applied to the exterior paint and the interior fabric of your vehicle. The sealants are designed to protect your exterior paint from fading and oxidation and your interior fabric against everyday spills, fading and stains. These products usually come with a short-term warranty and require reapplication at scheduled intervals.
Theft Recovery/Deterrent Products
Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and FM frequency radio tracking (LoJack) systems may help recover lost or stolen vehicles. In addition, Etch products, which add an identification to your car's windows and/or body parts, are designed to deter theft by making your car's parts traceable.
You may qualify for a discount on your comprehensive insurance if you use certain Theft Recovery/Deterrent products. Check with your insurance agent to find out which products qualify under your plan.
Tire & Wheel Protection or Coverage
This product may cover repairs or the replacement of damaged tires or wheels due to road hazards such as metal, nails, potholes, glass and debris.
This product may cover dents and dings on your vehicle's exterior vertical surfaces. Paintless Dent Repair (PDR) uses an innovative process to remove small dents and dings from your vehicle's body panels without the need for a trip to the body shop.
Other Commonly Available Products
Other popular aftermarket products your dealer may discuss with you include Key Replacement (replaces lost key fobs), and Windshield Protection (coverage for small window cracks or stars).
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